- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

HONOLULU (AP) - Les Keiter, a longtime Hawaii sportscaster who also called Muhammad Ali’s first title win over Sonny Liston in 1964, has died just two weeks shy of his 90th birthday.

Keiter’s wife, Lila, said her husband was surrounded by family when he died Tuesday at Castle Medical Center.

Keiter retired in 1994 as sports director of Honolulu TV station KHON, becoming the spokesman for Aloha Stadium.

“He was a terrific guy. He always called you ‘Kid.’ Even though he was getting aged, his voice was still strong. And his mind was sharp as a tack,” Hawaii sportscaster Jim Leahey said.

Former University of Hawaii basketball coach Riley Wallace said everyone looked up to Keiter.

“He was old school. He reported only the facts of the game. He always was a friend _ to coaches, players, and the fans. He’ll be missed,” Wallace said.

Keiter started his broadcasting career in Hawaii after World War II and then moved to the East Coast.

Between 1956 and 1985 Keiter narrated a dozen championship heavyweight fights for ABC and the Mutual Broadcasting Co. He was also the sports announcer for baseball’s New York Giants from 1954 to 1962 and for the New York Knicks from 1955 to 1962.

Keiter’s book, “Fifty Years Behind the Microphone,” explained how he “re-created” baseball games for radio audiences. He was hired to do the broadcasts for New York fans after the Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers relocated to California in the late 1950s.

In the early 1970s, he became the voice of University of Hawaii sports and Triple-A baseball’s Hawaii Islanders.

In addition to his wife, Keiter is survived by five children and many grandchildren.

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